16 Feb 2024 13:59

First Marafon-IoT satellite launch postponed - Roscosmos

MOSCOW. Feb 16 (Interfax) - The launch of the first demonstrational Marafon-IoT satellite under Russia's Sphera federal project has been postponed for additional software checks, Russia's Roscosmos state space corporation said on Friday.

"The launch of the first demonstrational Marafon-IoT spacecraft has been postponed for additional software checks and to update the program of additional research," Roscosmos said.

After these procedures are finalized, the satellite will be sent into space as a hosted payload, it said.

The demonstrational Marafon-IoT satellite was due to be launched as a hosted payload along with the Meteor-M no. 2-4 hydrometeorological spacecraft, which is scheduled to be launched into space from Vostochny Cosmodrome at the end of February.

Roscosmos announced on September 7, 2023 that it had concluded a state contract with Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems to build 132 low-orbit Marafon system satellites that will be employed in the interests of aircraft and mobile Internet services.

Reshetnev CEO Yevgeny Nesterov said in a presentation on September 28, 2023 that the company planned to build 271 spacecraft of this series in 2024-2030.

The Sphera satellite constellation will incorporate five communication satellite groups, namely, Yamal, Express-RV, Express, Skif, and Marafon, and as many remote sensing satellite groups, i.e. Berkut-Kh, Berkut-O, Berkut-VD, Berkut-S, and Smotr, as well as a group of Grifon small low-orbit global monitoring satellites.